Each year, the Irish Car of the Year judging panel conducts a comprehensive assessment of all eligible vehicles. Members of the jury road-test each car individually (at least one road test per juror per vehicle) at official launch events hosted by car brands or on week-long drive appraisals. 

The ICOTY jury also hosts a refresher drive day at Mondello Park in Co. Kildare, each October, giving jurors an additional opportunity to familiarise themselves with eligible models. Vehicles are judged against the following criteria:

  • New technology / ideas
  • Safety factors
  • Equipment level, fuel economy, practicality
  • Environmental impact (emissions, recyclability)
  • Use of space, comfort, ventilation, layout
  • Build quality, fit and finishing
  • Ride, dynamic qualities, road-holding, steerability, manoeuvrability
  • Engine, ease of driving, braking
  • Price, warranty, dealer network, after-sales service
  • Driver / user feedback

Once all vehicles have been comprehensively assessed, the ICOTY jury compiles a shortlist of contenders for the 10 category prizes plus overall title of Irish Car of the Year.